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What the #$*()& is Word Doing?

This may seem a little off-topic, but since I'm writing software requirements, I thought I'd toss this question out.

I'm pulling my hair out right now because MS Word XP keeps automatically creating new styles, even though I have the option to create new styles automatically turned OFF.

It seems that every day I work on my document, and copies of existing styles with the text "char" appended to the end magically appear in my styles list. This is really screwing me up, and I can't find ANY reference to this problem on the 'net.

Does anyone else out there know anything about this problem or can someone point me to some further information about this? I have about 700 pages of requirements right now and I'm going NUTS trying to keep the styles in check.

Wednesday, April 2, 2003


I hear your pain.

It's bulleted lists that give me a headache.

Thank goodnes of

Ged Byrne
Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Couple of places to check: 
* Tools > Options > Edit > Keep track of formatting
* Tools AutoCorrect > AutoFormat as you Type > Define styles based on your formatting
* Tools AutoCorrect > AutoFormat > various.

Duncan Smart
Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Have you considered switching to WordPerfect?

Yes, I know your company, like every company in the universe, is standardized on Word, but tell them it's an essential tool to do your job properly, and get it put in the budget...

Wednesday, April 2, 2003

I second the suggestion of using Open Office. It's clean, and good enough to writing docs (and it can create .doc files)

Leonardo Herrera
Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Duncan: Thanks for the feedback.  Have already tried all of that (only the 1st 4 options are checked on the AutoFormat as you Type tab.)

THIS is why I'm so frustrated! It appears that Word is thinking I have all of these options turned on, because that's exactly what it's doing--creating new styles based on my formatting!


Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Turn them on, then turn them off, ...see if that works....

Prakash S
Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Maybe use Docbook and generate RTF files so that users are happy with them

Thursday, April 3, 2003

Close all the Office windows. Open them all again. If it doesn't work, jump out of one of them.

(This action can be dangerous. Do not perform without the use of a safetx net. May contain nuts, particularly if you do it.)

Thursday, April 3, 2003

Apparently the "[Style name] Char" styles are created when you apply a style to *part* of a paragraph. If you have text in the paragraph selected, but the paragraph mark isn't selected, then applying a style will create one of these frankenstein styles. Or something like that.

Don't ask me what possible utility this behavior could have.

Friday, April 4, 2003

Another suggestion for taming Word's bad mindreading attempts: make sure none of your styles are ever set to Automatically Update. Particularly bad culprits in this respect are Normal style and the various list bullets.

Friday, April 4, 2003

Thanks for the feedback, Martha.  That's really helpful.

I've combed through most of the "base" styles and none seem to have the "Automatically Update" box checked.

I really hate it when software tries to "do something for you."  This is especially frustrating when the software doesn't stop "doing something for you" when you tell it, "Hey, cut it out!"

Saturday, April 5, 2003

This is like therapy...  I'm glad I'm not the only one...

Nat Ersoz
Sunday, April 6, 2003

> Thank goodnes of

I'll consider it when it won't take a whole minute to display the first window. I'm just too used to Word 97 popping up in less than two seconds

Monday, April 7, 2003

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